Starting in 1812 with Comet, the first mechanically powered vessel to operate in open waters, this handsome book follows the development of Clyde steamers through the early expansionist phase to their ‘high noon’ — an era of intense railway company competition on the Firth — and on to the steady postwar decline and the transformation of the fleet into a small group of ferries.
Andrew Clark’s “Pleasures of the Firth — Two Hundred Years of the Clyde Steamers” tells an epic story on an epic scale, giving the early years their due and seamlessly threading the narrative through such famous steamers as Columba, Jeanie Deans, Duchess of Hamilton, Waverley and the car ferry Glen Sannox — as well as giving lesser vessels their due, from the quirky little 1814 luggage boat Industry, affectionately known as ‘the Coffee Mill’, to the unsuccessful Hovercraft experiments and the enduring Western Ferries revolution.
The 312-page hardback — jam-packed with photographs and ship plans, most of them previously unpublished — includes an exhaustive (and fascinating) fleet-list, put together with help from CRSC Review compiler John Newth.
Ian Jack’s review of the book in the Financial Times can be found here.
“Pleasures of the Firth” is a must for anyone, young or old, who has tasted the pleasure of a trip on the Firth of Clyde. CRSC Shop is offering a £5 discount off the recommended retail price.